News Roundup › Culture
Sep 11 2012
What if the schedule of city-life had recess built into it, just like elementary school? A team of social innovators in Detroit is asking that question with their upcoming project Hopscotch Detroit, a social free-for-all that puts a schoolyard spin on community engagement—and even intends to break a world record, using nearly a ton of chalk, stencils, and city’s sidewalks.
Sep 11 2012
It’s remarkable what some people can accomplish in a single weekend. While others spend those days catching up on lost sleep or exploring their city with friends, Texas-based nonprofit The Better Block uses that time to rally communities to rethink their neighborhoods. Since its inception in 2010, the project has built temporary dog parks, pop-up shops, urban forests, cafes, and bike lanes. They’ve left their mark in more than 35 cities including Philadelphia, Wichita, Cleveland, Houston, and Oklahoma City.
May 8 2012
May 8 2012
Jane Jacobs was a renowned urban planner and author. She chronicled the “death and life” of cities and communities by how well they served their constituents. Jacobs argued that a community’s success should be measured by its accessibility- and walkability. In his article, “The Myth of Jane Jacobs in New Orleans,” Owen Courreges argues that although New Orleans hosted numerous Jane Jacobs walks this past weekend, her ideas are not properly represented throughout our city.
May 8 2012
While proposals for the creation of a new hospitality district are being quietly shuffled through the city and state legislatures, concerned New Orleans residents are raising their voices in an effort to ensure increased transparency and public involvement in the process. Citizens’ suggestions include slowing the bills down to allow for further public review and comment, as well as appointing an affected-resident review board.
Mar 27 2012
Preservation is our city’s salvation, argues Jack Davis, a trustee of The National Trust for Historic Preservation. Succinct, clear, and convincing, Davis’ article, originally published in the Spring 2012 edition of Louisiana Cultural Vistas, the quarterly arts-and-culture magazine of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humaniities, entitled “Stop Demolishing New Orleans’ Heritage”, calls for New Orleans to recognize the importance architecture plays in our cultural economy. To view the complete 2012 Louisiana Cultural Vistas spring edition, click here.
Jan 25 2012
Every city has them: struggling neighborhoods whose main boulevards and avenues have more “Closed for Business” signs than open doors. How can one combat this sort of storied and unfortunate blight? The answer is, possibly, that ONE cannot, but that together, MANY can. Such is the idea behind Oakland-based experiment Popuphood, where a group of like-minded or complementary businesses simultaneously move into a few blocks of space (rent-free for six months) to increase a boom in talk, traffic, awareness, and fresh faces to areas that need them most.
Jan 17 2012
On January 12, 2012 Louisiana state officials released a $50 billion, 50-year master plan to rebuild land lost due to erosion and protect coastal communities from future storm surges. The 50-year strategy is outlined in the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority’s plan update. Ambitious in scope, the plan takes into account funds that “the state is reasonably sure it will receive.” Although a monumental undertaking, restoring lost coastal wetlands and marshes is integral to maintaining a healthy coastline and community.
Jan 4 2010
Nov 1 2009
Sep 14 2009
The perfect city isn’t static. It’s evolving and ever changing, and its laws and structure allow that to happen. Neighborhoods change, clubs close and others open, yuppies move in and move out—as long as there is a mix of some sort, then business districts and neighborhoods stay healthy even if they’re not what they once were. My perfect city isn’t fixed, it doesn’t actually exist, and I like it that way.
Apr 28 2009
Chalmette native Matt Faust’s heart-wrenching 6-minute short film has made it on to New Yew York Magazine’s list of Top 5 Favorite Short Films showing at Tribeca this year. Listen to Matt tell why he made the film when he presented it last October as part of the New Orleans Speaks Conference, co-sponsored by The Urban Conservancy.
When he started it, Matt Faust envisioned his short film “Home” as little more than an exercise in self-prescribed, post-Katrina therapy.
With no formal background in filmmaking — and armed with just a collection of old photos, home videos and some computer expertise he picked up while earning degrees in Landscape Architecture at LSU — the Hannan High School graduate simply wanted to make a video that might help his family remember what was lost when their home on tiny Derbigny Street in Chalmette was destroyed by the storm.
“I felt like it was something I just had to do, for myself and my family, ” Faust said last week.
What he couldn’t have envisioned was that his wordless six-minute film would find its way to the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, one of the nation’s premiere film fests, where it will screen this week in competition in the documentary-short category. “Read more.”:
Nov 6 2008
To expand their coalition, Lang said, Republicans will need to find ways to talk about issues relevant to metropolitan areas. “You don’t have to have the same policies as the Democrats, but you have to talk about this and not just talk about values in the small towns,” he said.
Nov 4 2008
Dan Cameron, a veteran curator and the founder of Prospect.1, came to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and didn’t want to leave. He seems to have sensed that in the city’s rawness a different kind of biennial was waiting to break free. Because New Orleans lacked an obvious site for the event or the means to build one, Mr. Cameron has distributed his selections in about 30 locations: several museums and alternative spaces, as well as public buildings, old houses and empty lots stripped bare by the hurricane.
Sep 19 2008
May 14 2008
May 9 2008
For years, New Yorkers have grown basil, tomatoes and greens in window boxes, backyard plots and community gardens. But more and more New Yorkers like the Wilkses are raising fruits and vegetables, and not just to feed their families but to sell to people on their block.
This urban agriculture movement has grown even more vigorously elsewhere. Hundreds of farmers are at work in Detroit, Milwaukee, Oakland and other areas that, like East New York, have low-income residents, high rates of obesity and diabetes, limited sources of fresh produce and available, undeveloped land.
Apr 19 2008
Mar 12 2008
“It is only fitting that New Orleans’ favorite beer sponsors and supports this showcase for New Orleans’ unique cultural heritage,” said David Blossman, president of Abita Brewing Co. “We’re glad to do our part to help keep the French Quarter Festival the largest free music festival in the South.”
Feb 4 2008
Jan 21 2008
In the late 1960s, I argued that DC should have governing neighborhood commissions. When we were granted “advisory neighborhood commissions” in the 1970s, I argued that our first goal should be to kick the A out of ANC, replacing their token status with real governmental powers. I still believe such bodies are a greatly needed national urban reform. Among the jobs of such bodies would be to preserve the community and culture which they serve.
Dec 23 2007
The 2,500 square feet of space on the first floor of the circa-1820 building, which by the summer of 2009 will contain half a million dollars’ worth of exhibits, will launch what the superintendent calls the “soft opening” of one of 391 national parks.
It also could refer tourists and others to its satellite site, a $12 million “world-class jazz museum” under development at the Old U.S. Mint in the French Quarter, and to a jazz walk of fame along the levee in Algiers, a short ferry ride away.
Nov 21 2007
Today, though, Wal-Mart’s influence over the retail universe is slipping. In fact, the industry’s titan is scrambling to keep up with swifter rivals that are redefining the business all around it. It can still disrupt prices, as it did last year by cutting some generic prescriptions in the United States to $4. But success is no longer guaranteed.
Nov 11 2007
Pre-Katrina, the St. Charles line, which extended from Canal Street to Carrollton Avenue and Claiborne Avenue, ran 24 hours a day, but the new Canal-to-Napoleon service will operate daily from 5:27 a.m. to 11:55 p.m. with a fleet of five 1923 Perley Thomas streetcars running 10 minutes apart.
Nov 7 2007
“The new broadcast outlet offers a window into the rapidly changing African American political consciousness in post-Katrina New Orleans. The new format, “Talk Back: Talk Black” marks a significant development in African American political life post-Katrina. Bakewell’s comments on today’s broadcast made it clear that his goal is to make WBOK a voice for African Americans in New Orleans and the Diaspora.
Nov 6 2007
Sep 15 2007
Rouses, an independent family-run company, … currently operates 16 stores in Louisiana, including four in the metro area. The chain has been eager to step up its presence in the New Orleans area and its involvement in the region’s post-Hurricane Katrina recovery.
“Who better than us to do it?” asked Donald Rouse, president of the company. “I don’t think a chain from out-of-state can come in and understand what’s going on, and we understand it and live it.”
Sep 15 2007
The mere mention of gentrification has so inflamed the discussion … that stereotypes and political grandstanding have obscured the facts and tangible impacts on real people. Austin succeeded, at least in part, in detaching itself from much of the hyperbole by conducting a set of separate, relatively rigorous studies on the intersection of gentrification and preservation. The city’s efforts have suggested that the answer to gentrification is not found in broad-brush generalizations, but rather in analyzing each neighborhood’s specific economic and social concerns, understanding them as inextricably tied to a complex local history, and devising appropriate solutions and strategies responsive to the community’s needs and aspirations.
Sep 11 2007
Jun 19 2007
According to the blueprint overseas travel to the US has slumped 17 per cent since 2001, even as world travel to other countries reaches historic growth levels. The decline has cost US$94 billion ($127 billion) in visitor spending, US$16 billion in tax receipts, and some 194,000 American jobs.
Apr 18 2007
Mar 7 2007
The New Orleans Video Access Center’s and the Digital Filmmaking Institute’s first “48 Hour Film School” workshop Jan. 27-28 produced a completed short film “Breaking Bread.” It was produced by workshop participants, edited in one day, and is available online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEdHnEU07cs.
Nov 16 2006
Aug 9 2006
The Haley Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame, which began in 1999, is an
extension of the in-school curriculum developed by Haley faculty member Cherice Harrison-Nelson, Queen of the Guardians of the Flame Mardi Gras Indians. She established a program to teach Haley students to appreciate their Mardi Gras Indian culture and to learn from the traditions of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians.
Jul 25 2006
Jan 11 2006
Cyril Neville boarded Amtrak’s City of New Orleans train with a full head of steam. He joined singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie earlier this month for the first leg of a 12-day journey from Chicago to New Orleans, playing concerts along the way to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Neville, however, won’t be on the train when it rolls into his old hometown. He won’t be going home at all.
Nov 23 2005
My wife questions the wisdom of my frequent forays into the massive expanse of blown-apart lives and property that local street maps used to call Gentilly, Lakeview, the East and the Lower 9th. She fears that it contributes to my unhappiness and general instability and I suspect she is right.
Perhaps I should just stay on the stretch of safe, dry land Uptown where we live and try to move on, focus on pleasant things, quit making myself miserable, quit reliving all those terrible things we saw on TV that first week.
That’s advice I wish I could follow, but I can’t. I am compelled for reasons that are not entirely clear to me. And so I drive.